Subversive Historian – 03/11/09

Hone Heke’s Rebellion

Back in the day on March 11th, 1845 indigenous Maori chief Hone Heke cut down a British flagstaff at Kororareka, New Zealand for the fourth time. Tensions had been building between the indigenous peoples and the ever increasing British colonial presence. This unease increased after the Treaty of Waitangi, which Heke had originally signed five years prior to the flagstaff incident. Seeing a depression of his revenues in the Bay of Islands and correctly believing the treaty to be a ruse before an eventual seizure of the lands by white settlers, Heke saw the cutting down of the British flagstaff as an act of resistance. After the flagstaff was cut down on three previous occasions, the British fortified it with two blockhouses aimed at preventing any such further action. Despite the move, Heke conspired with Kawiti, a chief of the Kawakawa people, to launch a concerted attack. Heke’s men stormed the hill where the flagstaff was located, killed its defenders and cut it down once more, while Kawiti led a diversionary attack allowing for the Maoris to take Kororeka victoriously.

Talk about capturing the flag!

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